A Most Incredible Surprise

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 14 comments

Back in February, I discovered the incredible portrait artist, Reginald Gray. And yesterday, Reginald Gray surprised me with a package that housed this wonderful portrait! I'm still in shock - and so deeply flattered. Reginald, this is one of the kindest gestures anyone has ever made towards me. Thank you so, so much.
Flicks | A Dangerous Method

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1 comment

Freud, Jung and a lot of hot sexytime (albeit not with each other) coming this November thanks to David Cronenberg.
Harvard-Yale Games (and Some Extra Time in the Bean)

Monday, June 27, 2011 7 comments

Porter and I made our seasonal pilgrimage to New Haven on Thursday for a quick night at the Study Hotel (which is a huge testament to the power of the Yale Alumni and parents who roll into town a couple times a year). We hit all our normal haunts - BAR for the otherworldly pizza and home brewed watermelon ale (my absolute favorite), Caseus for grilled cheese, the Yale Center for British Art (which has just put its collection online!) to gaze at our favorite paintings (George Stubbs!) and the Peabody Museum of Natural History to look at dinosaurs and dioramas. (They have old model trains throughout the New Haven train station. Westward Ho! So great).

They claim to have made America's first hamburger sandwich at Louis' Lunch. It's small, it's classic, it's perfect to try once. The burgers are good, but come on slices of white bread, which, after consuming brioche and even egg buns, just kinda suck. (This is mean and will get me in trouble, I'm sure).

The Gant store has moved in to a perfect corner spot, just a door away from J.Press (next to the somewhat scary British tween import, Jack Wills). Given that summer school students don't have the same spending power as the ones during the year (apparently), the whole town is on sale. So, I picked up a cute burgundy and gold striped college sweater. They have a nice cabinet of old Yalie duds, including this stocking cap, at the front.

I went insane with Instagram at the Yale Center for British Art. How perfect is all this?

Impressive painting. More impressive frame!

A cuddly fella at the Peabody.

And then I headed up to Boston to meet up with The Standard Edition. Saw this on the way from the train...

...and this amazing sun room on Commonwealth Ave.

...and then spotted the Masons' beavers.

The Boston Public Library was an amazing treat, too. Green spines!

Double helix stairwells!

Some pretty decent ceilings!

The best court yard this side of Europe!

Majestic lions!

And a few details up above.

On Sunday, we popped over to Harvard.

Thayer Hall, my home for 6 weeks in the summer of 1995.

The Winthrop House dining hall (we snuck in).

The Lowell House courtyard.

The Lowell House crest!

Shipspotting No. 2

Thursday, June 23, 2011 4 comments

In what is only slightly less remarkable than the lightning speed by which The New York Times' and EinesTages' readers sorted out both publications on the original owner and creator of a WWII photo album, one quick search of the "Walpole Bay Ship Spotting Club" led to this amazing motherload of personal history about the boat-loving boys and their great leader shown in the post below. One man posted the following inquiry on the Kent History Forum site:

Can anyone identify the vessel on the postcard? The name is either ARGANTOCK or ARGANTOCH. The postmark is 1936 though the photograph could have been taken a lot earlier. I and a friend have conducted several researches through the Shipping Registers but have drawn a blank.The only piece of information I can find is from a French newspaper giving ship listings from various ports.

Well, Ted got some great answers: 

...I knew Mr Shelley when I was a mere youngster. By profession he was a Watch and Clock repairer in Margate in the 1950's. He was very keen on the English Channel shipping movements and ran a Ship spotting club in Margate. I can remember going on a boat trip that he organised on the Thames which included going through the locks into the Docks on a small pleasure craft under the stern of what seemed to be a gigantic ship. In the 1950's Mr Shelley lived on Grotto Hill with his Sister and Bro in Law. He was our next door neighbour.


 I also knew Fred Shelley. He founded the Walpole Bay Ship Spotting Club in the late 50's early 60's. We spent many a day with him and his very large telescope at Walpole Bay during our summer holidays. As you said, he arranged many a visit to ships in the Royal Docks. The photo came from his collection that was given to me when he passed away.

Click here for some more fun details on Mr. Shelley.
Shipspotting No. 1

Thursday, June 23, 2011 No comments

Some of us had Model Rocket Club. I personally had student council, quiz bowl, math team and yearbook (v. popular!). No one would cut off a limb to join any of these groups, but I'm sure many a boy would take hacksaw to wrist if it meant having the world's coolest teacher explain how to make ridiculous model boats and then spot real boats on the horizon. The incomparable site, British Pathé, sells rights to some of the most remarkable clips of film on record - including this 1958 news reel of the Walpole Bay Ship Spotting Club. Those Pathé Brits clearly don't like bloggers to use stills - but you should absolutely watch (or buy!) the clip and the outtakes. If Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson didn't watch this before making Rushmore, the world just got hit with some legitimate deja vu.  

After all These Years...

Sunday, June 19, 2011 1 comment

Every time we'd go to the video store as little kids, our dad would beg, "PLEEEASE, can we rent the Seven Samurai?!?!" Being smallish girls, we'd scream, "NO, DADDY! NOOOOO!" and then bring over a copy of Dirty Dancing to the check out. Ok, dad, you might not have been as totally irrational as we thought. Happy Father's Day!   
Uniform Greatness + Library Love

Thursday, June 16, 2011 1 comment

I hope all the nation's libraries are up to snuff with fire codes, because their scanners must be smoking. These things aren't just happening in South Carolina, the Yanks have been truckin' along with the process, too. These are all from the New York Public Library's online collection, which is so large no one will ever see it all. These appeared after searching for "uniform soldier." @#$%^&!! So good. (And you can buy prints!)

Warblin' Wednesday: Austria's Bregenz Opera Festival

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 No comments

Perhaps those Vienese opera houses are just too constricting, because some Austrians feel that opera is best enjoyed outside, on Lake Constance, at the base of the Alps. Given the photos, I tend to agree! Each July and August, a magnificanetly-staged opera highlights the Bregenz Festival. This year, the Austrians play out the Italians' iteration of the French Revolution in Umberto Giordano's Andre Chenier. You can monitor the progress on the extraordinary set via the festival's webcam. So, so wonderful.
Warblin' Wednesday: Percy Danforth

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 1 comment

The wonderful banjo player - and Doc Watson collaborator - David Holt has been hosting the Folkways show on North Carolina's PBS station for years, introducing (and re-acquainting) viewers to the old timey masters. Masters like Percy Danforth who knows a thing or two about dem bones.
Jocks, Strapping

Monday, June 13, 2011 7 comments

The only thing more impressive than the half naked men outside the Abercrombie flagship store on Fifth Ave. (well, and the ability to atomize Woods cologne through the air vents, turn off all the lights and still draw never-ending Disney Land-esque lines of sweating, panting Midwestern tweens) are the half naked men painted inside the Abercrombie flagship store on Fifth Ave. (see bottom picture). They, and all the rest of these greyish muscley gents shown here, come from the brush of Mark Beard's "Bruce Sargeant" persona. Bruce, a fictional relative of John Singer, paints almost everything to look like a homoerotically-charged adaptation of Chariots of Fire or a more athletically charged adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. Bottom line, though, it's all perfect for Abercrombie, which has given us a homoerotically and athletically charged adaptation of high school.

Images of all these Mark Beard and Bruce Sargeant paintings from the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, NY.

Shot of the Abercrombie flagship on 5th. courtesy of Noel at NYClovesNYC.blogspot.com